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Does Sir Michael Wilshaw Have a Fan Club?

06/10/14

Does Sir Michael Wilshaw Have a Fan Club? If not, I will start one...

Yesterday, on Today where he was being interviewed about his latest report, the chief inspector of schools said that heads and senior teachers should be visible around schools checking up on discipline. 

Has he been reading my blog? John Humphrys recalled Sir Michael's last headship when Mossbourne Academy was compared to a boot camp. Apparently the pupils stood up when a teacher entered the room and aside when a teacher walked down the corridor. Imagine! (I teach EAL in the school holidays and my classes of European students routinely stand up when I arrive. It just makes one feel respected from the outset).

Commentators were shocked that the report finds that children can miss up to an hour's learning a day because of low-level disruption in lessons, "making silly comments to get attention, swinging on chairs, passing notes, quietly humming and using mobile phones." They would be even more shocked to discover that if students happen to have a series of cover lessons - and it happens - they could miss many hours of learning a day.

The reason I am rooting for Sir Michael is that he does not blame us foot-soldiers for the situation where "for too many children the chances of being in a calm and well-ordered classroom has become something of a lottery." We send children out, write reports on them, follow the 'discipline policy' then nothing happens, there is no follow-up. He recognises this and calls on school leaders to back us up by applying punishments and sanctions consistently.

Sir Michael is also requiring Ofsted to address misbehaviour more seriously. How many of us have turned up at schools where glowing inspection quotations wallpaper the foyer whilst the classrooms are bedlam? How did that happen?

So, let us hope that school leaders take this all on board, check the cover list each day to see where support might be helpful and visit our lessons. But don't hold your breath.

Lyn has blogged with us regularly and covers an interesting range of topics usually based on issues or challenges she has found when supply teaching.

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